Recently I read about an appointment of a marketing manager at a small company with huge potential. The LinkedIn profile revealed that this new marketing manager had no marketing experience and a degree that has nothing to do with marketing/business. This prompted me to write this article.
During my long career in the advertising/marketing industry I have often had to deal with marketing managers that were not qualified or experienced to have the position. Often they were more of a sales person than a marketing expert. I would then effectively fill the role to lead the clients marketing. On the other hand, a client of mine retrenched his experienced marketing manager when he realised that he was paying him more than the budget he was managing.
What the client did not realise, is the immeasurable input the marketing manager gave regarding; distribution, pricing policy, promotional/advertising/PR strategies, product development etc. It is an unfortunate fact that our profession is mostly underrated by CEO's and board members.
When not to appoint a marketing manager
Simply, when you cannot afford an experienced and suitably qualified person. A marketing manager can make or break your brand (not that all CEO's agree with this statement). So under no circumstances should one leave this critical factor to the brand's success to an unqualified person. One of the industries that often does appoint unqualified people due to budgets, is the wine industry.
Margins are under pressure so they need to curb expenditure. In my opinion a BIG mistake! One other challenge is whether a small/medium company can attract a heavy weight marketing manager. With small budgets and few strategies required, it is unlikely. In fact a heavy weight can most probably do the job in just four - six days a month.
The solution is simple. Contract a marketing consultant on a monthly retainer. It will cost you less than a junior's cost to company. You get all the experience required to build your brand and flexibility. Insight and knowledge is only gained through experience. So, do not settle for less! Get the best marketing manager to grow your brand and bottom line.
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